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It helps to be a gaming juggernaut when people are stuck indoors because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Take Sony, the Japanese electronics conglomerate whose various properties include a music label, a movie business, a video game empire, and a semiconductor and camera technology unit. Sony reported a record $10.7 billion in net income for its fiscal 2020, driven largely by its gaming and network services unit, which includes the PlayStation console business and related video game subscription service. Sony debuted its long-awaited PlayStation 5 console last fall and has since sold 7.8 million units. It’s likely Sony could have sold even more PlayStation 5 consoles, but a worldwide computer chip shortage has stymied production. Sony’s video game business boom helped offset declines in its motion picture business, which suffered as movie theater operators shut down during the pandemic. To help kick-start its movie business, Sony has been inking deals with streaming video providers like Netflix and Disney to feature the company’s movies and TV shows. Later this year, for instance, Netflix is expected to start airing the iconic 1990s sitcom Seinfeld, distributed by Sony Pictures Television. As Kramer would say, “Giddyup!”
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